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Oriental Trading

This One Event Grew Bible Class by Over 300%

This One Event Grew Bible Class by Over 300%

Bible Science is my favorite time of the year because it is so much fun, kids beg for it and it brings children to church that might not have come otherwise. We saw an increase in mid-week attendance of over 300% on our first night! Sounds really cool when I put it like that! We typically have about a half dozen kindergarten through fifth graders on Wednesday nights during the school year. The first night of Bible Science brought in 20 kids.

Wednesday nights during the school year are hard for parents of elementary children.  By the time evening rolls around, they are worn out! Then there’s dinner to prepare. Did the kids finish their homework? Project? Did one of the kids just say they have a project due tomorrow? Then there’s bath time and bedtime. Whew! And that’s if there aren’t any sports practices or games that night too. Needless to say, getting kids to bible class during the week is not high on the list of things to do.

But that’s during the school year. Summer is a whole other story! They will come, but only if there’s something compelling them. For me, it’s Bible Science.  Every summer I host an 8-week series, one and half hours a night on Wednesday nights. We start with sugar free snow cones on the playground followed up with a hands-on science experiment, applicable bible lesson and a game. Kids beg for it all year long! This gives parents enough time to run an errand, relax, or attend a class for them.

Bible Science is easy. Just pick an age appropriate experiment; Pinterest is full of them. Make sure to test if first. Tie it to a bible lesson and you are ready to go! I have a Bible Science Creation series that I put into a course and it will be available July 1, 2019. You can download the curriculum, watch the experiments, get ideas for how to structure your program for your size and budget, and learn ways to promote your program. Run an 8-week series like me, set up a day camp, or more. Link to purchase coming soon.

This is not part of the Creation curriculum, but it’s one you can try with your kids to see what you think. I have one student that asks all the time if we can do this one again!

Sparkling Wool: “Spread the Word” (Acts 13:49; Luke 6:12-16 – 12)

NOTE: This experiment should be done outdoors on solid ground such as a parking lot or sidewalks (not grass). Also, you may want to have a fire extinguisher on hand (although we have never come close to needing it).

Supplies:  Steel Wool , Aluminum Foil, 9V Battery (Kids may share)

  • STEP 1: Make sure everyone has their supplies: Steel Wool and Foil (Don’t pass out batteries until you are ready for them to use them.)
  • STEP 2: Begin splitting apart the steel wool, loosen it up, spread it out.
  • STEP 3: Now, wrap it up into a loose ball
  • STEP 4: Place in the center of your aluminum foil. STEP 5: Now, pass out batteries. Touch the end of the battery to the steel wool in a few places. It will begin to spark. (Pass the battery to the next person for use.)
  • STEP 5: Stand back and watch the sparks spread all over the wool. What just happened? We transferred the energy from the battery to the steel wool. This created sparks that kept traveling all throughout the steel wool.

 BIBLE LESSON: In Acts 13:49, we read, “The word of the Lord spread through the whole area.” What spread? God’s word!

Now we will learn about some very special people who made it their mission to spread God’s word. We are learning from the New Testament book of Luke. Luke is one of the four gospels that teaches us about the life of Jesus.

At about that same time Jesus climbed a mountain to pray. He was there all night in prayer before God. The next day he summoned his disciples; from them he selected twelve he designated as apostles: How many did he choose as his apostles? 12

Jesus gathered his disciples together and from those, he picked 12 for a special job. After Jesus had died and risen from the dead, this was the mission he gave them (Mark 16:15-16): 15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. What was their mission? To tell the whole world about Jesus.

The names of the first 12 apostles were: Simon, whom he named Peter, Andrew, his brother, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, son of Alphaeus, Simon, called the Zealot, Judas, son of James, Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

BIBLE APPLICATION In our experiment, the steel wool is all the people in the world around us. The battery is us. When we touch one person with the word of God, it starts a chain reaction. That spark creates another and another and another. This is just like when we share God’s love with someone. They get excited and share it with someone else and that person shares it with another and it just keeps going. Who can you share God’s love with? (Family, friends, neighbors….)

If you try this, I would love to hear how it went!

Creative Storytelling – The Witch of Endor

Creative Storytelling – The Witch of Endor

Creative Storytelling of The Witch of Endor to engage kids in God’s word and etching His lessons into their minds to pull from when they need it most in life.

This October I have been sharing scary bible stories with my kindergarten through fifth grade bible class on Wednesday nights. The goal is always to get kids excited about God!  When they are excited about this, they learn who God is, they develop a love for God and they have a natural desire to share God with friends.  One week they learned about “The Witch of Endor.”  Real live witches in the bible? Yes!  The bible really does have it all! Of course, I make sure to remind them that God said to stay away from witchcraft!  It was not and is not acceptable to our God!

You will have children’s full attention as you make a crystal ball to tell the story.  You can use ANY size container you want.  In fact, when doing this activity for a large group, I had a large bowl.  After telling the story ask questions to make sure they were paying attention.  We want them going away with God’s word more so than the crystal ball. Then watch the excitement on their little faces when you let them try this activity on their own.  I bought some small containers from the grocery story (like you see in the picture).  They come with lids so you can even put the water in the bowls before class.  I put the dry ice in each cup though and told any child that touched the dry ice they would lose theirs. Every child got their own string and groups shared the soapy suds.  (Dry ice can usually be purchased at large grocery stores.  You have to ask for it though.)

For the rest of their lives, when they see this activity, I bet they think of the “Witch of Endor.” And what lesson can they learn from this?  King Saul had turned his back on God.  He only called on God when he was afraid, so God was not there this time.  King Saul was so afraid that he chose to sin even more by seeking out a witch to conjure up Samuel from the dead.  King Saul did not get the answer he wanted either.  He learned that he and his sons would die, and that’s just what happened.  We need to be obedient to God, always.  The bible tells us that sin leads to death. Sure, we will all mess up from time to time and God will forgive us, but we should not call on God only in times of trouble.  That’s not a good relationship.  And when we are afraid, do not make matters worse by adding sin into the mix.  That’s just asking for more trouble.  Trust and obey God. Grow a real relationship with your Heavenly Father who loves you.  It’s an awesome lesson to learn any time of the year, but it is especially fun at Halloween.

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If you enjoyed this article, check out the Pumpkin Prayer.

Promoting Jesus in a Social Media World

Promoting Jesus in a Social Media World

Promoting Jesus?  When there’s so much on the web these days, how do we stand out and get seen by the right people?  I will happily share my recent experience.

This summer is my fourth year of hosting a Bible Science program.  This is my favorite thing to do all year, every year.  It creates an excitement in kids that has them enjoying their time learning about God.  In the past few years I announced the program to our church families and printed fliers that we passed out at our weekly food pantry.  This brought in a good number of kids.  I was thrilled.

This year my husband recommended I try some Facebook advertising.  Of course!  Why didn’t I think of that?  I designed a simple advertisement.  Facebook let me select my target audience.  I chose parents of elementary aged children in my town.  It was a simple as that.  I used MailChimp to auto send responses with more information about our program.  Amazing!  Parents responded and kids who had never been to our congregation signed up for information and better yet, they came!  And they came back!

Every week I send out an email with a video showing the experiment their kids will be doing and how we will tie that into God’s word.  I’ll do just about anything to get kids excited about God!  First I’ve got to get them in the door, then I can share His message.  What methods of promoting have worked for you?  As always, I am looking for the best ways to reach kids and their parents.

Here’s what went out this week:  (This one is a little pricey, but they flock to slime!)

Want to make your own?  Here’s what I used:

1/4 cup Glue

1/4 cup Liquid Starch (See what it is, but it’s less expensive to pick up at grocery store)

2 TB Iron Oxide

Strong Magnet (I used N52 bars, but they come in all shapes and sizes)

Directions:

  1. Mix starch and iron oxide in bowl
  2. Add glue and stir with spoon. It will form a glob.
  3. When it is all sticking together, use hands to kneed for 2 – 3 minutes
  4. Set on clean plate
  5. Wash hands with hand wipe and let dry before touching slime
  6. Now, when you pick up the slime, your hands should stay clean.
  7. Use magnet to attract the slime

Discuss the experiment.  What did they do?  What happened?  (Magnet was attracted to the Iron oxide in the slime)

Let’s talk about attraction.  What are we attracted to?  Is it good stuff, bad stuff, both?  (Discuss)

As God’s people, we should try to stay away from bad stuff.  What are some bad things we really like to do, but should stay away from?  (Lying, Fighting with siblings, saying mean things, watching things we shouldn’t, playing games that people say lots of bad words on… I’m sure the kids will have plenty of examples)

Hold up two magnets.  One magnet represents the bad stuff we just talked about.  The other represents God’s people being obedient, staying away from bad things.  (Hold magnets on ends that push away from each other.)

As God’s people, we should be attracted to God and all the good things that come from God.  What are some good things from God we should be attracted to, things we should want in our lives?  (Good friends, our family).

If we are attracted to good stuff, people will see this good stuff come from us!  Let’s take a look at the “good stuff” we should be attracted to and want to have in our lives.  Read Galatians 5:22-26:  (There are lots of short video’s on YouTube you may want to show your kids.)

22 But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful 23 and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against things of that kind. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed their sinful desires to his cross. They don’t want these things anymore. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become proud. Let us not make each other angry. Let us not want what belongs to others

Discuss:

What are the fruits of the spirit?

Do the fruits of the spirit grow on trees?  No.

Where do they grow?  In God’s people.

The Fruit of God’s spirit lets other people know that we are God’s people because just like an apple grows on an apple tree, the fruits of the spirit grow in a Christian.  When we are drawn to evil, good things won’t show.  When we are drawn to, or attracted to, good things, those good things will show in us.

 

Light a Fire for God in Kids Through Science – Bible Science

Light a Fire for God in Kids Through Science – Bible Science

This is my fourth summer teaching Bible Science  to K-5th graders every Wednesday night in the summer.  The first year I did this our classes doubled in size!  That was incredible.  The kids LOVED it.  They got to play with their friends on the play ground, eat pizza, do science experiments followed by an applicable bible lesson.  I have to admit, every week I went home worn out, but absolutely loved what I was seeing from the kids.  They were excited to learn God’s word.  Well, they were excited about the “fun” stuff and God’s word was intertwined; it was the whole purpose and they were enjoying it.

So what is Bible Science?  It is taking a simple science experiment to draw kids in and capture their attention so they are receptive to God’s word. I have heard of teachers performing the experiment at the head of class while everyone watches, but I prefer to let everyone participate.  If they are hands on, they are more engaged and in turn, more likely to remember what’s being taught.  Some experiments everyone does it themselves and then there are others that are better suited for small groups of 2-3 kids, especially if my kindergartens will struggle with parts of the experiment.

Every Wednesday night I start a half hour before bible classes are scheduled for our congregation.  The first two years we served pizza on the playground for 30 minutes, but the Texas heat made snow cones much more desirable.  So, I bought a snow cone machine and the kids can’t believe they get all the snow cones they want for FREE!  This draws in others from our community too.  Some kids arrive before me and then they trickle in.  The next 30 minutes are dedicated to the science experiment.  Make sure to test the experiments before you get there.  It’s not much fun for the kids when the experiment fails (unless something exploded that wasn’t supposed to, of course).  The last 30 minutes are dedicated to a bible lesson, singing, and sometimes reinforcement games.    That’s it!  Simple and highly effective.  So, here’s the overview of the evening again:

30 minutes:  Playground and Snow Cones (or whatever you choose to offer)

30 minutes:  Hands on science experiment

30 minutes:  Applicable bible lesson, singing and sometimes reinforcement games

This past Wednesday we played with fire.  Yes, we are aloud to light things on fire in Bible Science and the kids get fired up about it!  I have the youth come help out with this part.  I partner each group of two to three K-5th graders with a high school student.  This helps a ton! Here’s a look at last week’s experiment and how we applied it to God’s word:

Next week we will play with dry ice, another we will explode a mix, we experiment with magnets and more. The idea is to keep it interesting so they keep coming back for more!  For those interested, I’ll have a book of experiments with lessons out late this summer.  I’ve had this request quite a bit so I’m finally getting it together!!  These are great for a weekly summer program, a week of day camps, a Saturday event during the school year and more!  It’s all about getting kids to come participate so you can share God with them.

 

Supplies for this experiment:

Unscented Tealight Candles 30 Pack-White-By CandleNScent(TM)

AmazonBasics Pre-sharpened Wood Cased #2 HB Pencils, 150 Pack

Glad Aluminum Foil, 40 Square Foot Roll, 12 Inches Wide